Barclays Increases Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target to $137.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) had its price objective raised by Barclays from $130.00 to $137.00 in a research report sent to investors on Friday, The Fly reports. They currently have an overweight rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Truist Financial decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $136.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 24th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $124.00 to $131.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Piper Sandler decreased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $153.00 to $150.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 24th. Cowen decreased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $155.00 to $140.00 in a report on Thursday, June 16th. Finally, Citigroup upped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $156.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, September 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus price target of $143.62.

Darden Restaurants Trading Down 0.6 %

Shares of DRI stock opened at $129.68 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $16.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.52, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.30. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $125.38 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $125.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.64. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $110.96 and a fifty-two week high of $164.28.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 23rd. The restaurant operator reported $2.24 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.21 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $2.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.54 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 39.05% and a net margin of 9.89%. Research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 7.7 earnings per share for the current year.

Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, June 23rd that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 6.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Darden Restaurants Increases Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 8th were given a dividend of $1.21 per share. This represents a $4.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 7th. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.10. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 65.41%.

Insider Activity

In other news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $120.00 per share, with a total value of $1,200,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 27,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,251,280. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott acquired 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $120.00 per share, with a total value of $1,200,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 27,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,251,280. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 41,442 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.71, for a total value of $5,168,231.82. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 222,480 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,745,480.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.93% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Trading of Darden Restaurants

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. HighTower Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 11.0% during the 4th quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 17,326 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,614,000 after purchasing an additional 1,710 shares in the last quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter worth about $204,000. MAI Capital Management increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 7.9% in the 4th quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 3,104 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $468,000 after acquiring an additional 227 shares during the last quarter. Ensign Peak Advisors Inc increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 116.1% in the 4th quarter. Ensign Peak Advisors Inc now owns 103,708 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $15,622,000 after acquiring an additional 55,720 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 623,701 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $93,955,000 after acquiring an additional 10,605 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.62% of the company’s stock.

About Darden Restaurants

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 29, 2022, it owned and operated 1,867 restaurants, which included 884 under the Olive Garden brand, 546 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 172 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 85 under the Yard House brand name, 62 under The Capital Grille brand, 45 under the Seasons 52 brand name, 42 under the Bahama Breeze brand, 28 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brand name, and 3 under the Capital Burger brand; and franchised 60 restaurants comprising 35 under the Olive Garden brand, 18 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 4 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 2 under The Capital Grille brand name, and 1 under the Bahama Breeze brand.Darden Restaurants, Inc was founded in 1968 and is based in Orlando, Florida.

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